May 1, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 1, 2006: CHARLOTTE FLOOD PREVENTION RATING LEADS TO DISCOUNT INSURANCE RATES
Charlotte, NC - Charlotte now has the best flood-loss prevention rating of any U.S. city of its size. New results from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) Community Rating System (CRS) put Charlotte in the top 3% of all communities in the nation. Because of Charlotte’s exceptionally strong CRS rating, Charlotte property owners can now get up to a 25% discount on flood insurance. Flood insurance in Pineville will be discounted up to 20%.
FEMA’s Community Rating System is a complex rating scale that rewards cities and counties for going above and beyond minimum flood-loss prevention standards. Flood-loss prevention programs, floodplain regulation enforcement, strategic planning, and data collection are among the responsibilities of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services and are funded by monthly storm water fees.
Charlotte got significant credit for what FEMA calls “higher regulatory standards.” This includes a change in the City’s floodplain ordinance in 2003 restricting new construction in floodplains. Charlotte-Mecklenburg also received extra credit for new local flood maps used since 2000. These maps show current floodplains and also show which areas are likely to flood in the future as more development takes place. Restricting development in Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s future floodplains will save an estimated $300 million dollars in property losses due to flooding.
Other programs receiving praise from FEMA are Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services’ aggressive program to buy and remove 130 flood-prone buildings in the past five years; interactive mapping on the Internet that allows people to see if Charlotte-Mecklenburg property is in a floodplain; ongoing capital improvement projects to improve storm water drainage; a sophisticated Flood Information & Notification System (FINS) that alerts local emergency responders if flash flooding is likely; and an ongoing comprehensive community education campaign about flood safety and flood-loss prevention.
Charlotte, Pineville and unincorporated Mecklenburg County have chosen to take part in FEMA’s Community Rating System. Other municipalities in Mecklenburg County currently do not take part in CRS.
The flood insurance rate discounts take effect May 1, 2006. The Charlotte City Council will receive a plaque from FEMA at a presentation on May 22.
For more information, contact Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services floodplain administrator Bill Tingle at 704-336-3734.